Roy Sambles’ research now centres on metasurfaces for microwaves and acoustics. This follows his earlier research on conduction electron spin resonance in metals, the resistivity of thin films, molecular rectifiers, plasmonics, butterfly wing optics and the optics of liquid crystals.
Highlights of this earlier work include the development of a scattering matrix approach to multilayer optics, and new experimental studies of surface plasmons and guided mode techniques for the study of thin layers of liquid crystals. This work produced a number of notable ‘firsts’ in revealing the structures present in these complex systems, of significance to the field of liquid crystal electro-optic displays, for which he received the Gray Medal of the British Liquid Crystal Society in 1998.
Roy’s work on plasmonics and optics were recognised by the award of the Young Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2003. Recently, his group have confirmed the existence of microwave ‘spoof’ surface plasmons and made the first observation of surface plasmons on zigzag gratings. He received the Faraday Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2012.